The table wasn't exactly what I had in mind. It had originally been used in a dining room, I believe, and not a kitchen. It was a rather unique design; one I had never seen before. Instead of having leaves or boards that fit in the middle when the table was pulled apart, this one had an attached board on each end that fit under the tabletop. When they were pulled up, the table was 7 feet long. Okay, I could live with that.
Over the years, that table was put to good use. The kids did their homework there, they played games on it, we ate every meal there. It was used for cooling homemade bread, canning fruits and vegetables, cutting material for sewing projects and every other project you could think of.
As the children grew and brought friends home with them, the chairs began to fall apart. There has never been a teenage boy who did not lean back in a chair and balance on the back legs. They would play cards or just set and talk; always at the table.
On Christmas Day in 1983, one of the coldest days in IN history, our house caught fire. It was all smoke damaged, but the kitchen, the only part of the house that was one-story, had no roof and everything was damaged.
The table was not burned, but was definitely water-damaged. It was taken, along with everything else in the house, to a restoration shop. Six months later, when we could move back in, the table was returned. It felt like I was seeing an old friend again.
It continued to be used for every occasion; parties, birthdays, playing cards with guests, even for grandchildren to eat cupcakes.
It made me sad, sometimes, to see it without chairs and the finish was gone on the top of it. It looked tired. When Kaylynn and her husband down-sized due to kids growing up, there was no room for the table in their new place. She asked me what I wanted her to do with it. My first response was to sell it. Then I said she should keep it in storage since it really was an antique. She and the other kids have so many memories of that table, it was almost unbearable to think of selling it.
Finally, I had my son-in-law bring it to my garage until I could do something with it. I didn't need it; I had a beautiful table. Maybe I could have it refinished and sell it. I stored it in the garage all winter and spring. I knew it would eventually end up in my house again. I sold my big table to my Amish friend. Then I used a suggestion I read on Facebook to put some oil back into the wood. Finally I had my grandson (one of the little boys eating cupcakes and now nearly 20 years old) help me bring it into the house.
I believe that is how it is with our lives. We move from one place to another, we become scarred and broken, our 'finish' becomes dull. But when we finally go home to our heavenly home, we will be like new again and all will be right with our world.
Until then, come visit one day and we will set at my table and have a chat and a cup of coffee.